Local Atlanta news

A top Georgia health care official says a cap on the number of in-state patients that a national cancer treatment chain can treat will remain.

Cancer Treatment Centers of America was seeking permission from the state's Department of Community Health to apply for a new certificate as a general hospital. The change would have allowed its Newnan facility to treat more Georgia patients, eliminating a cap set by lawmakers in 2008 when they created a "destination hospital" category to accommodate the company.

Clayton County Sheriff's Office

A grand jury Thursday indicted Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill for misdemeanor reckless conduct for shooting a woman in a model home in May.

Thursday morning Hill spoke before a Gwinnett County grand jury, spending around 20 minutes giving a prepared statement.

Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said Hill demonstrated with a plastic training gun what had happened at the scene, adding, “It’s been his contention since the very first 911 call that it was an accident, and that was consistent with what he testified to today.”

John Lorinc / WABE

Americans are packing on too many pounds.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports nearly 38 percent of U.S. adults were obese in 2014.

That's up nearly 3 percent from 2012.

Georgia ranks 19th in the nation for obesity, according to the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Researchers there say Georgia's obesity rate last year was 30.1 percent.

That's about a 2 percent increase from 2012.

One way to help fight the battle against the bulge -- think about meals in advance.

Authorities in Forsyth County are warning residents of men they say are posing as cable workers to get into homes so they can steal prescription medications.

The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday that three men pretending to be Comcast employees have been disconnecting cable service and telling residents they're responding to service problems.

The sheriff's office says once inside the homes, the impostors ask residents to stay with the television as they go look for prescription medications.

Evan Jang / WABE

Residents statewide will be giving back during the fourth annual Georgia Gives Day.

The 24-hour fundraiser, which started Thursday at 12 a.m., is a chance for Georgia residents to make online donations to nonprofits throughout the state.

The event is organized by the Georgia Center for Nonprofits. In a statement, the center says the day of giving is aimed to drive awareness and donations for more than 2,000 nonprofits in the state. The nonprofits represent various causes including education, the environment, youth development, health care and others.

Jim Burress / WABE

It's kind of like "America's Got Talent" for the world's busiest airport.

Musicians looking for a lucky break, and an audience, should contact Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

On Monday, the airport is hosting a talent search for musicians to entertain passengers waiting for flights.

Officials at Hartsfield say they hope musical entertainment will help ease travel-related stress for people during the holiday season.

Halston Pitman / The Georgia Trust

The first library in Gwinnett County and a golf course in Buckhead are among the historic sites included on the 2016 "Places in Peril" list. It’s a list compiled by The Georgia Trust that serves as a kind of yearly “strategic to-do list” for the preservation organization, according to president and CEO Mark McDonald.

“There's technical expertise from the Georgia Trust,” McDonald said. “There's staff resources that we dedicated to this, and there can be funding as well.”

Attorney Christopher Chestnut, Hill's mother Carolyn Baylor Giummo, and Hill's uncle Pierre Baylor
Molly Samuel / WABE

Two weeks after a civil grand jury recommended further investigation into the death of Anthony Hill, who was killed by a DeKalb County police officer in March, his parents are suing the officer, the police department, the county and others.   

Apparently Mother Nature also wanted to honor Georgia veterans on this Veteran's Day. After nearly two weeks of constant rain, the sun shined brightly over the Atlanta History Center.

Hundreds of veterans enjoyed the sun and the memories from their service.

"Veteran's Day, to me, is the most important holiday of the year. If it was not for our veterans, we wouldn't have an American holiday," said Bob Babcock, an Army veteran who was in Vietnam in 1966 and 1967.

Many of the veterans stressed the importance of remembering everyone who wore a military uniform.

Brenna Beech / WABE

Jimmy Carter says recent tests have found he's responding well to treatment for cancer.

Carter's spokeswoman Deanna Congileo says that the former president's doctors have found no evidence of new tumors. The 91-year-old former U.S. president announced in August that he had been diagnosed with cancer and doctors had found tumors on his brain.

Carter received a radiation treatment for those tumors and also received doses of a recently approved auto-immune drug to help his body seek out and destroy cancer cells.

Otto Kitsinger / Associated Press

An annual Atlanta tradition will take place a little earlier than usual this year.

The annual lighting of Macy's Great Tree at Lenox Square is scheduled for Nov. 22, the Sunday before Thanksgiving. For the past 68 years, the Christmas ceremony took place on Thanksgiving night.

According to a press release from Macy's, Atlantans "will be able to kick off their holiday festivities early."

Singer Jordin Sparks will headline the event, which starts at 6 p.m. A fireworks show will take place after the tree lighting.

John Amis, UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences / flickr.com/ugacommunications

Georgia's public colleges and universities saw the second highest tuition hike over the past five years.

According to the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C. think-tank, the average price for one year at a four-year public college in Georgia is nearly $8,500.

Researchers say that's a 31 percent rise from 2010, if you take inflation into account.

However, it's still about $1,000 below the national average.

The institute says tuition rates are affected by students who get HOPE scholarships.

Chip Harlan / flickr.com/chippenziedeutch

Most people who live or work in Gwinnett County would like to have options when it comes to how they get around, according to a recent survey that found many are fed up with gridlock and open to public transit.

“If citizens see that a transportation improvement is convenient, that it's safe and reliable, then they're willing to pay for it,” said Joel Wascher of the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press

Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak Tuesday at Morehouse College as part of a White House campaign to raise awareness about sexual assaults on college campuses.

Derrick Parker, a sophomore at Morehouse, said he expects students from all the Atlanta University Center schools to hear Biden speak about sexual assault.

“Walk around this campus long enough, you'll see ‘no means no signs,’ so it's something we take serious here at Morehouse,” he said, “and across the street at Spelman College. And I know some of those Spelmanites will be in attendance.”

Stephanie M. Lennox / WABE

WABE is sad to report that a frequent contributor to its station, Cliff Kuhn, has died.

Kuhn's in-depth knowledge of Georgia history, heard by WABE listeners, was just one of his areas of expertise.

An associate professor of history at Georgia State University, Kuhn had taught at GSU since 1994.

Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press

Former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson died Monday night at Piedmont Hospital.

A representative for the Braves said the 29-year-old was surrounded by a group of former teammates when he died.

Hanson was hospitalized Sunday and later suffered catastrophic organ failure, according to multiple sources.

The 6-foot-6, red-headed hurler debuted with the Braves in 2009 and was with the team for four seasons. He also spent a season with the Los Angeles Angels.

Hanson was 49-35 during his five-year professional career.   

Mike Groll / Associated Press

Sheep have returned to Georgia Tech to help deal with an invasive plant on campus.

It's the second time the sheep have been brought to the campus to help control kudzu, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

By grazing on the kudzu and any vegetation within their reach, the sheep eat away the root reserves. The process has to be repeated within two months.

Landscape project manager Jerry Young says it typically requires several grazing sessions with the sheep to manage a particularly overgrown area.

Elly Yu / WABE

Last week, some DeKalb County voters cast ballots on whether or not to create the cities of Tucker and LaVista Hills. Now, supporters of incorporation in the Southern part of the county say it's their turn for a referendum, which needs state legislative approval. 

Stephannie Stokes / WABE


Are you a deltiologist? That’s the technical term for someone who collects postcards.

If you are, there's a place for you: every third Saturday during the school year, a group of enthusiasts of 4-by-6-inch cards meet in the bottom floor of the Decatur Recreation Center.

Tom Simpson / flickr.com/randar

Some Girl Scout chapters across the country are raising the price of a box of cookies from $4 to $5.

Here in Atlanta, though, prices will stay flat.

"Each council can make that decision based on their market, and we've decided that we don't need to do that,” says Leslie Gilliam, communications manager for Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. "We are one of the top sellers of Girl Scout cookies in the nation, and we're doing fine just the way we are.”

One exception to the $4 box: The Girl Scouts' gluten-free cookie, Toffee-Tastic, which was introduced last year, is $6.

Wake County (N.C.) Jail via AP

A woman accused of posing as a nurse at the suburban Atlanta hospice where Bobbi Kristina Brown died has made her first court appearance in Georgia.

Taiwo Sobamowo was arrested Sunday in Raleigh, North Carolina, but has been transferred back to Georgia. She appeared Thursday in Forsyth County Magistrate Court, shown by video conference from the county jail.

Marjan Lazarevski / flickr.com/mlazarevski

Georgia's population ranks as the 14th highest state in the U.S. for obesity, according to a new report from WalletHub.

Among the findings Georgia is 18th in percentage of adults who are obese and 17th in percentage of children who are obese.

Georgia is also 29th in percentage of death rate linked to obesity.

The report ranks Mississippi's population as the most obese, followed by Louisiana and West Virginia.

Georgia Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office

After winning a referendum to incorporate earlier this week, residents in Tucker now face the prospect of creating metro Atlanta’s newest city.

Officials with the cityhood movement, though, say they've got some time to figure out the finer details.  

Voters Tuesday approved the measure for Tucker to incorporate by nearly 3-to-1, or 3,937 votes to 1,389 votes. Population estimates for the planned city stand at around 30,000. 

Erik Hersman / flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican

Are Georgia's Spanish-speaking voters getting left out because of English-only ballots? 

Advocates for Latino voting rights say yes and that needs to change. 

It has to change before next year's presidential election, according to the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials.

The organization's executive director, Jerry Gonzalez, has written to Gwinnett and Hall counties, both with large Spanish-speaking communities, asking that bilingual voting materials be provided. 

The view from Darin Givens's family's downtown Atlanta apartment
Darin Givens

How does the look of a street affect the lives of those who live there? How does the color of our skin determine where we're likely to live in Atlanta? And what on earth should we do about the downtown streetcar? 

For over five years, Darin Givens has addressed these questions and others raised by Atlanta's built environment, as the ATL Urbanist. Now he’s retiring the blog, but not before addressing what he sees as Atlanta’s "to do" list when it comes to urbanism.

Don Ryan / Associated Press

It’s easier for Americans to get financial backing for a house these days.

According to a study from Zillow.com, mortgage denial rates have dropped nationally -- especially for black and Hispanic applicants.

As for the Atlanta area: The overall mortgage denial rate in 2014 was 10.2 percent, that is a 2.1 percent drop from the previous year.

Authorities are investigating an early Thursday morning plane crash in northeast Georgia.

Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration says a Piper Cherokee aircraft went down near Habersham County Airport around midnight.

Local authorities say three people and two dogs were on board the plane. There were no survivors.

The victims' names have not been released yet. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating. 

The NTSB will determine probable cause.


After responding to the scene of a car crash on Halloween, a young Georgia state trooper and his colleagues realized the couple killed in the crash had left behind four young children — who were home alone, wearing their costumes and waiting for their parents.

Faced with a tragic situation, Trooper Nathan Bradley says he stalled for time — to find the kids' nearest relatives, and to figure out how to salvage their Halloween.

Evan Agostini / associated press file

Sheriff's officials in a Georgia county say a woman accused of posing as a nurse at the hospice where Bobbi Kristina Brown died has been transferred from a North Carolina detention center to a Georgia jail.

Forsyth County sheriff's Deputy Epifanio Rodriguez said Wednesday that Taiwo Sobamowo has been booked into the Forsyth County Jail. Sobamowo was arrested Sunday in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Mike Stewart / Associated Press

A national poll shows the pros and cons of living inside Atlanta's perimeter. 

Atlanta ranks as the 30th best city to be a homeowner. That's according to a poll by Porch.com and Redfin.

Researchers looked at 67 major cities across the country. Factors that were considered included economic and educational opportunities, tax fairness and healthy living.

Among the areas where Atlanta scored well: real estate confidence and resident satisfaction.